David Fuller: MPs call for public inquiry into mortuary abuse

Image source, Kent Police

MPs have called for a public inquiry into how a man was able to access hospital mortuaries and sexually abuse at least 100 bodies.

During his trial for the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987, it emerged David Fuller, 67, sexually abused bodies in two Kent hospitals over 12 years.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark said it was “shocking and devastating”.

“We must establish that this can never happen again,” he said.

The Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has commissioned an independent investigation, led by the Royal College of Physicians, which will look into how the abuse happened and what could have been done to avoid it.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the NHS had written to all trusts asking for mortuary access and post-mortem activities to be reviewed following the case.

Image source, Getty Images

Mr Clark, whose constituency contains the hospital where Fuller worked, said: “It’s not sufficient. This is without precedent.

“There has never been a case in Britain in which the number and scale of the abuse of dead bodies has been revealed in this way and it raises such important questions as to the security of mortuaries not just in the two local hospitals, but for every hospital in the country.

“Frankly one of those hospitals is a very modern, state-of-the-art one with top security systems, so if it can happen there it can happen elsewhere,” Mr Clark said.

“It’s now necessary, as well as seeing Fuller go to jail for what I hope will be the rest of his life, that we move on to ask serious questions of how this could have happened and we establish that is can never happen again.”

He added that the case “demands a public inquiry” as it “is beyond the resources and capability of a single local hospital trust.”

Mr Clark has been joined by seven other MPs from Kent and East Sussex who have backed the call for an inquiry.

Tracey Crouch, Nusrat Ghani, Helen Grant, Huw Merriman, Laura Trott, Tom Tugendhat and Helen Whately condemned Fuller’s “appalling crimes”.

In a joint statement they said: “These are some of the most depraved crimes that have ever been heard in a British court and that requires a response that matches their gravity.

“Nothing can undo the horror that the families of the victims are experiencing. We are determined to ensure that no other family ever has to endure what many of our constituents are going through now.”

Fuller, of Heathfield, East Sussex, worked in electrical maintenance at hospitals since 1989 and was at the Kent and Sussex Hospital until it closed in September 2011.

He was transferred to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, where the offences continued until his arrest.

Investigators said Fuller would work late shifts and go into the morgue when other staff had left, using his swipe card.

He filmed and catalogued his offending on hard drives, floppy discs, DVDs and memory cards which were found in his loft and spare room.

Image source, Kent Police

Millions of images and videos of him molesting female bodies, including three children, between 2008 and November 2020, were discovered during a search of his home.

Mr Clark said: “This case has established that there are people with depraved motivations and so we need to understand what protections are necessary against that.

“Many people, many of my constituents are wondering whether the dead bodies of their loved ones may also have been subject to these predations.”

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